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Wednesdays are for (free) books

I participate in NetGalley, a website that provides digital Advanced reader Copies to influencers like me in exchange for honest reviews. These are the two latest book's I've read from them:

The Military wife by Laura Trentham 

I read the first 50 percent of this book in a weekend. I couldn’t put it down. It was told in alternating chapters, some set in “present day” and some in the past. I was quite interested in the characters and the story. I felt like the writing was a bit clunky at times, but I could forgive that for the story. And then the second half just fell apart a bit. It moved from feeling like chick-lit to romance. The "past” chapters became infrequent, and when they repeated information that we had already been told. They also were not in order, so the past jumped around from more recent past to older past. The big secret felt like an anti-climax. The character development was patchy – there are marked inconsistencies in the story we are told about the characters, that a good editing would have sorted out. One small example – Bennett, a navy seal is complaining because he is in a nasty place in the desert and the book says “not what he had in mind when he joined up to see the world”, which is in no way consistent with the reasons given earlier than he joined up. And the ending was very neat. I don’t want to give more examples, because I’m wary of spoilers. I would love it if Laura Trentham wrote more books like the first half of this. I do think that romance lovers might still enjoy the whole book, but I did not.

The Weight of a Piano by Chris Cander

This was a great read. It's not subtle, the book is called The Weight of Piano, and it about the physical and psychological weight of a piano as a metaphor. Despite this it is not heavy handed,perhaps because it is so well written, with characters that are likeable, flawed and interesting. I notice when I'm reading books that are clumsily written I highlight passages. there was none of that here - the dialogue is smooth flowing, the descriptions of scenery beautifully done and appropriate and the plot moves at just the right pace. I was very happy, after I finished the book, to find out that Chris Cander has already published some other novels, which I am looking forward to reading.

 I do enjoy reading and reviewing for Netgalley. It's a bit hit and miss, as you can see, but it gives me a chance to try new authors, and choose books like I used to - from looking at a shelf and deciding based on the blurbs, rather than the quite heavily curated Goodreads Want to Read list I usually choose from.


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